By John J. Raspanti
This was a toughie. Literally almost a flip of a coin.
Claressa Shields had a sparkling year in 2018, but this year at least, the choice is Katie Taylor.
The Irish sensation boxed four times in 2018, winning all including one by stoppage.
Her competition wasn’t easy. Taylor, who won her first world title in her seventh pro fight, faced former champions Victoria Noelia, Cindy Serrano and Eva Wahlstrom.
The Wahlstrom fight was Taylor at her best.
Fighting for the first time a few weeks ago at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, Taylor wanted to impress.
Taylor sliced and diced her way to a 10-round shutout over the gutsy Wahlstrom. Her dominance started in the opening stanza. The IBF and WBA lightweight champion bounced and fired crisp combinations-while playing a game of hide-and-go-seek with Wahlstrom. By the end of the fight Wahlstrom looked like she had been mugged.
Two months prior in Boston, MA, Taylor schooled Cindy Serrano in a similar way. Last March, she added the IBF belt to her resume by handing Victoria Bustos.
Perhaps the most thing impressive thing about Taylor is, at 32, she appears to be improving with each fight.
Taylor is looking forward to some big fights in 2019.
“The goal is to be the undisputed lightweight champion of the world,” Taylor said. “Obviously, one of the biggest fighters out there is Amanda Serrano, and that’s a huge, huge fight.”
Katie Taylor is Maxboxing’s 2018 female fighter of the year.